Yesterday I drew a very big, rather rare night moth, called the death’s head, its colouring of amazing distinction . . . I had to kill it to paint it, and it was a pity, the beastie was so beautiful.
--Vincent Van Gogh
The flapping of night-wings by a fire,
a rattling in the skull,
a moth, its wings cloudy white,
tinged carmine and faded green:
all is captured in a sigh of pity—
beauty must hold still to be seen.
And what is death to the dead
when art gives wing to the living,
when what was gauzy and frail
presses its form to imagination’s
human shores, there to be held,
foam swept through quick passing days,
there to withstand the turning of seasons?
The leaves will be green again,
brown again, gold, and green again.
The leaves will be red.
Red, and the death’s head moth still flutters,
steadfast, swept beyond the joy and danger
of a shift in wind.
Artist, have you learned the moth?
You are more alike than you can see.
Not in the way a night can swarm to flame,
but like a gust of stars
breathless with foretelling—
the markings, like the lines
that streak your palm, tell of leaves
pressed into a book. Their color fades.
They rot. They leave behind
an imprint on the page.
Poem of the Week
who have experienced
on a large
i tell raif
i think my
might be dead
haven't seen her
& her car hasn't moved
for two weeks.
you would smell it
passing me a plate
of triangular shaped bread
slathered in jam.
Story of the Week
DARLEEN SQUEELED into the empty spot as soon as the gleaming white Mercedes pulled out. "We got lucky," she told Montana. "Even on a Monday night, this lot is killer."
Montana rolled her big blue eyes. "Whatever."
The eleven year old had better things to do, like text her friends. Incessantly, as if she had a tic. The kid hadn't wanted to shop tonight, but Darleen insisted. This was their first Christmas without Paulie and the girls needed to stick together. Darleen's ex had been nasty lately and mediation had hit a cement wall. Montana wasn't aware how dangerously close they were to losing access to Paulie's vast and unreported wealth.
Montana sighed dramatically as she yanked open the door of the Porsche Cayenne and tumbled out. She didn't pause in her texting.
Darlene checked her face in the rearview mirror. The most recent fat transfer had been wildly successful. She loved her new lips. Grabbing her Gucci bag, she hopped out of the front seat.
Her daughter trailed her into the mall, thumbs flashing on her phone keypad.